East Rowan’s Conor Honeycutt grew up as the younger sibling in a running family, but that doesn’t mean he’s playing catchup.
Honeycutt is the boys Rowan County Runner of the Year by virtue of winning the county meet held at Dan Nicholas Park in September. He ran the 3.2-mile course in 16:17, 12 seconds in front of the competition.
Honeycutt’s brother Cole runs track at Liberty and has served as a springboard for his own accomplishments in running track and cross country. In 2012, the Honeycutt brothers were part of school-record setting 4×800 relay team. As a high school junior, Conor says he’s got about 10 pounds on Cole now. Cole won the 2011 county meet.
“He definitely pushed me in everything,” Honeycutt said. “I was always trying to beat him and he’s three years older than me.”
Honeycutt says he has the fastest time at a couple local courses and it’s certainly possible. He ran a 16:09, a personal best, at McAlpine Creek Greenway for the regional meet. The junior was more proud of the fact that several Mustangs hit a personal record.
“It had to be something we all did,” Honeycutt said. “We put in speedwork at the right time. Some good practices put us over the edge.”
Seven East runners were on A-C team as the Mustangs won the county meet as a team for the sixth-straight year. Cal Meyers, Josh Rowell, Chance Brown, Justin Allen, Jason Basso and Jason Troutman all were A-C. How does East keep winning? Honeycutt says it starts early by instructing the middle school runners at camps. East coach Rick Roseman was the South Piedmont Conference Coach of the Year.
“It’s all about tradition and family,” Honeycutt said. “We go to cross county camps and the kids see what cross country means to us. All the younger kids look up to us.”
Honeycutt placed 36th in the state meet.
“I felt like I should have done better,” Honeycutt said. “A week before, I had the best time of the season. You can’t let it beat you up too bad.”
Honeycutt feels like he has more of a future in track than cross country. He runs the 800 and 1600-meter and is on the 4×800 relay.
“I would probably run cross country and track,” Honeycutt said. “But my main focus is track.”
The top 12 runners at the county championship were all-county. Carson’s Zachary Marchinko, who owns the school record for a 5k, was the runner up. Carson also had Danyal Sherer, Dylan Snider and Garrett Ingold make the team. West Rowan’s Jordan Bostian finished 10th at the county meet.